Local Legislators Applaud Passage of Restaurant Re-Open Bill

HARRISBURG – Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Bradford/Lycoming/Sullivan/Susquehanna/Union), and Reps. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming/Union) and Jeff Wheeland (R-Lycoming) applauded the passage of Everett’s House Bill 2513 today in the House. The bill ensures restaurants and taverns can operate safely and be protected from unconstitutional mandates from the Governor’s Office or the activist state Supreme Court.

“I introduced this bill to help relieve our business owners of the arbitrary mandates issued by the governor,” said Everett. “It is a shame and a scandal laying at the feet of the governor that over 91% of our restaurants have said they laid off or furloughed their employees since March. Walk down any small town in Pennsylvania and I wish you good luck in finding more than two or three mom-and-pop businesses that have survived the governor’s shutdown. This legislation is a common-sense step in the right direction toward a safe recovery. I thank my colleagues in the House and Senate for their support of this important bill and I urge Gov. Tom Wolf to sign this bill immediately for the sake of our Commonwealth’s prosperity.”

 “The governor has yet to release any data to substantiate his claims that restaurants are ‘super-spreader’ hot spots,” said Wheeland. “Furthermore, it makes no sense, as noted by the federal judge who denied his stay request for his business mandates, that the administration would place such restrictions on mom-and-pop operations that serve fewer customers than corporate big-box stores that been allowed to operate without any occupancy restrictions. The hypocrisy and the arbitrary nature of these mandates do not hold up under any constitutional or common-sense standard. It’s time for us to relieve our small businesses of this madness. I urge the governor to sign this bill.”

“I was proud to vote in favor of House Bill 2513 when it came before the Senate earlier this week,” said Yaw. “Many restaurant and tavern owners and employees have contacted me over the past six months. It is far past time to allow them to make a living while also ensuring the safety and well-being of their patrons. Those two concepts are not mutually exclusive. Let’s hope the governor will support our restaurants and taverns by signing this bill immediately.”

House Bill 2513 would do the following:

  •  Allows restaurant operations to operate at 50% capacity.
  • Prohibits the requirement that a meal must be purchased in order to purchase alcohol.
  • Allows establishments to operate above 50% capacity for indoor dining if the guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Commonwealth allow, or they maintain physical barriers.
  • Allows establishments to use their bar service. Establishments are considered: a restaurant, bar, hotel or private club which serves food and beverages, a brewpub, brewery, winery or distillery; and an event venue (expressly excluded are night clubs, music or entertainment venues).
  • Gives immediate operating authority to outdoor space operations (for a club, catering club, restaurant, retail dispenser, hotel, limited distillery, distillery, brewery or limited winery) for outdoor dining during the disaster emergency.

The bill was passed by the House today after being amended by the Senate. It now heads to the governor for final consideration.

Representative Garth D. Everett
84th District
Representative Jeff C. Wheeland
83rd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Alison Haas
RepEverett.com / Facebook.com/RepEverett
RepWheeland.com / Facebook.com/RepWheeland
Senator Gene Yaw
23rd District
Pennsylvania State Senate
Media Contact: Nick Troutman